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  Triathlon 500 Yard Swim, 10 Mile Bike, 5K Run         Super Sprint Triathlon (Ages 10-18)  200 Yard Swim, 6 Mile Bike, 2 Mile Run      
Duathlon  2.5 K Run, 10 Mile Bike, 5K Run            Aquabike  500 Yard Swim, 10 Mile Bike

2017 Race date
Saturday  August 5


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Current water temp - 78

Friday – July 28, 2017

Special thanks to all our great sponsors this year and especially to our 2017 presenting sponsor - Zeigler Auto Group, and the new Zeigler Motorsports Division.

A number of our sponsors will be on site again this year including Pedal Bicycle, Sub Aquatic Sports, and Agility Physical Therapy & Sports Performance.

We have added a new Super Sprint distance this year – 200 yard swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run.  This is designed for athletes 10-18. Athletes in that age bracket is not required to do the Super Sprint. But it may be a more welcoming distance for younger first time multisport athletes.  The plan as this point is to send off the Super Sprint as a separate, final wave.  We’ll have additional volunteers at the bike and run turn points for the Super Sprint.

We are continuing with the same swim course layout from the past two years.  Out and back going counter clockwise. You can review the map on the Race Data/Maps page. Super Sprint athletes will go out to the first tetra, turn left a short distance to the “adjoining” tetra, and then back in to the beach to exit the water.

Start checking your gear today if it hasn’t been used in a while.

Need some help with your bike?  Get to Pedal Bicycle in downtown Kalamazoo or in Portage. Or to your local bike shop. Don’t wait.  Pedal will be on site race morning but that is primarily to assist with last minute issues that develop, not for a tune up or anything like that.

Are you self-sufficient in terms of being able to fix a flat or handle a minor issue while on the bike course.  If you don’t carry a flat kit, get one and learn how to do the basics. That is riding 101 whether you are racing or out training.

One thing that comes up often is what to do with your bib number.  We need to see that on your front as you finish the run. Aquabike athletes, you don’t need to use it if you don’t want on the bike.  No one needs to have the bib number on during the bike, let alone the swim. But we need that showing when you approach the finish line.  A great way to manage the bib number is a number belt. Pedal carries them. Your bib number attaches to the elastic belt. When you transition from bike to run, grab the belt and put it on while you head out. Then make sure the bib is facing the finish line arch as you approach the line. This is one of the must have pieces of equipment if you plan to do many multisport events.  And if you use high end apparel, nice way to save your stuff from safety pin holes.

Wetsuits are allowed. No matter what. If you have one and want to wear it, don’t let anything get in your way. Water temps have been near 80 the last week.

Everyone should review the course maps in advance of race morning.  Know where you are going.  Our courses are well marked and well supported.

While we do not sanction the Shermanator, we do follow the USAT “age up” rule to help keep some consistency with those events that do.  You are placed in the age group based on your age on December 31.  Example - if you are 44 on race day but your birthday is past race day so you are 45 on December 31, you “age up” to the 45-49 age group.

Several law enforcement units will be out on the bike course assisting with traffic control. Remember that if something big comes up, they may get pulled for that emergency situation. Or maybe something bad happens nearby and they need to divert traffic or clear the way for other emergency vehicles. Stay alert and pay attention and follow their directions.

No mp3’s or similar allowed.  You need to be aware of what is happening around you for your own protection, and the safety of other athletes on the course.  

Let's look at a couple of basics to remember for yourself and your spectator or support crew for next Saturday morning:

-No dogs (pets) are allowed on site. Assistance dogs of course are welcome.

-The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center is not open prior to the race for venue visits or training since we have children enjoying camp up until race day.  If you need a nice spot for final week training, consider the nearby Ft. Custer State Recreation Area. Nice swim waterfront and a huge marked swim area along with nice paved main drive from the main entrance at M-96 back to the Eagle Lake beach. The other nice option close by is Ross Township Park on Gull Lake.

-All athletes use the 38th St parking area. Remember - there is a long walk to the Recreation Center for check in, and then from there down to the waterfront.  

-We are past the shirt guarantee date for registrations. However, we always order extras. Those will be handed out on a first come first serve basis to athletes who registered past the guarantee deadline.

-Spectators arriving up until 7:45 should also use the 38th Street parking area. Spectators arriving after 7:45 must use the parking area accessed just north of the YMCA main entrance on 39th St. - and please come in at that point from the north and M-89, not from “G” Avenue.

-Handicapped accessible parking is available at the Recreation Center - but anyone needing that must arrive prior to 7:45.

-No alcoholic beverages are allowed on site.

-The Sherman Lake YMCA is a non-smoking site.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions.  Now is the time to get them handled.

Train hard...race well

Jim Mishler

Monday  July 31, 2017

Double check your driving directions and leave home with plenty of time to arrive early. The parking map is on the event web site.  

We will have designated racks for Relay, Super Sprint, and a group from Gracespring church. All other rack spots are first come first serve.  There is no measurable distance advantage comparing one spot to any other.

We will keep our Rec. Cntr. Open until noon if you would like to use the locker rooms and showers to clean up post-race before driving home.  Please bring your own towel and lock.

The swim course continues with our relatively new modified diamond out and back going counter clockwise. You can review the map on the Race Data/Maps page.  Start line is at the end of the dock in about 7-foot depth. You may hang back in shallower water until right up to your wave start.  We will have waves posted Saturday morning. Remember first wave starts at 7:45.

Need some help with your bike?  Get to Pedal Bicycle in downtown Kalamazoo or in Portage. Or to your local bike shop. Don’t wait.  Pedal will be on site race morning but that is primarily to assist with last minute issues that develop, not for a tune up or anything like that.

Everyone should review the course maps in advance of race morning.  Know where you are going.  Our courses are well marked and well supported.

The Live Results pages are ready to go on both the desktop and mobile versions of the event web site.  We will be pushing results to those pages once we start having athletes cross the finish line. Please let your friends and relatives who want to keep track of your great finish know how to access those pages.

Please review the parking map.  Athlete access to the site is off 38th St. From “G” Ave.  There will be a large sign at the intersection to help guide you in.

There is a long walk or ride with your gear from parking to the Recreation Center for check in, and then more down to transition.  Arrive early.  We start on time with first wave at 7:45. Pack your gear to make it easy to walk.

Review your gear and packing/transport process no later than Friday night. Don’t wait until Saturday morning to do that.

Make sure you have all your basics, and whatever extras you may need - Goggles, towel(s), bike, helmet, race apparel, shoes.

Bug spray - mosquitos are showing up. Consider adding some repellent to your equipment bag.

The Duathlon, and Relays start with Wave 1. Aquabike athletes start with your age group.  We will have the wave breakdown posted at check in and the waterfront.

Water temps have been fluctuating, but holding around 80. Wetsuits are allowed.

We will have our full contingent of lifeguards in the water, along with divers from sponsor Sub Aquatic Sports and watercraft from Presenting Sponsor Zeigler Motorsports.

What are all those bubbles in the water?  Race morning, some will come from the dive team. We’ll have divers from sponsor Sub Aquatic Sports on hand. But the stationary areas of bubbles are from the lake association weed abatement program. It is like a system of big aquarium bubblers.  The bubble action and the extra air in the water does something to inhibit the growth of the invasive weeds.  The program so far has worked well.

Weather - So far the forecast is for clear skies Friday night and sunny and a high around 80 for race day.  This is Michigan however and things might change. Our weather policy is that as we approach 7:45 and have lightning, thunder, or rain heavy enough to reduce visibility or traction on the bike course, we delay. We can delay for a maximum of 30 minutes.  If threatening weather continues past that point, we cancel. No other option.

Online registration will be open until midnight Thursday, the 4th. Same day onsite registration has not been decided so take the sure thing and register online.  There will be a boost in fees if same day is offered.

We are lucky to have a large and enthusiastic group of volunteers to help stage this event. Some have been with us every year since we started. Please thank them for their support when you get a chance. Same goes with our great sponsors.

I posted this on the event FB page this weekend.  While on the bike and run courses, be ready for the potential of wildlife encounters.  This is especially true when it comes to deer on the bike course. Kind of like when driving a vehicle, stay alert. Deer/bike crashes never end up well.  I spotted at least a half dozen deer on the bike course while doing some course marking on Sunday morning.

And the section of 37th on the bike course, north of “G” Ave. as you head to or come back inbound from the 5 mile turn at Crane’s Pond is total or broken tree canopy. It is pretty.  But with the sun up the broken canopy can seem like a strobe light at times as you go in and out of the open sections. Ride according to conditions and stay safe.

If you or anyone you know has a little extra time on Friday early evening, we can always use a few more people to help with waterfront and transition area set up. Nothing terribly hard, just setting up bike racks, fencing supports and fencing. No pounding fence posts.

Same with Saturday morning post race.  It normally takes us less than 90 minutes to tear down and clean up the site.

Volunteers may use this link to connect -

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday morning.

Questions?  Don’t wait – ask now -

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Shermanator is Saturday.

Online registration is open through midnight tonight.

The forecast looks great. We will probably have air temps at around the low to mid 60’s at the start. Water temp is holding in the upper 70’s. That could also mean some fog. We had heavy fog over the lake a couple years back but it lifted just in time for us to stay on the timeline. Whew.

A couple last minute reminders.

Mosquitoes are showing up. Consider bringing some repellent.

Helmets are required. Don't leave home without yours.

No mp3's or sound devices are allowed while you are on the bike and run courses. Click here to review the Shermanator Race Rules.

The timing chip and strap goes on one ankle or the other.

We will have designated racks for the Super Sprint, Relays, SLYMCA Tri training group, and Gracespring Church.  All others are first come first serve.

Relays - your chip hand off is at the rack.

Aquabike athletes will finish when crossing the mat returning into transition after completing the bike course. Place your timing chip and strap into a small bin inside transition labeled for that.  Please do not go near the chutes after finishing until you have done that.

Wave start assignments will be posted at check in and the waterfront.

Duathlon start line is back from the finish arch. I'll call you all to that spot a couple minutes before the start to review your opening run and return to transition. You will have a lead motorcycle.

Athletes and coaches only in transition please. We understand that there will be occasions where an athlete may need a little help for something prior to the race. We will require all spectators to leave transition by a little after 7, save for big issues that require special or additional support crew attention.

Double check your gear before packing. make sure you bring your essentials - including that helmet. It is a long walk from parking to check in, and then from there to the waterfront.

You’ll have plenty of time to jump back into the lake to cool down and freshen up a bit post race.

The Rec. Center. will be open until noon for you to shower and change before leaving the site. Please bring your own towel and lock.

Check your maps for driving to the parking area. Leave with plenty of time to make it a safe drive.

Then check the event course maps.  Know where you are going. We have well supported courses with what I think is one of the best volunteer support crews around, but things can happen.  This is especially true for Super Sprint athletes. Know when and where to look for your bike turnaround on 37th just north of “G” Ave., and run course turn back into the Y property off 38th.

We are looking forward to a fun morning at the Sherman Lake YMCA.

This event is a fund raiser for the YMCA’s Community Scholarship Fund. Hundreds of area adults and children have been helped toward improving their health and wellness due to your participation in this event. Thank You!

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday.